By Leven Woon
Free Malaysia Today, Feb 24, 2013
Kota Kecil MCA branch chairman Tai Foo Him today led 180 party colleagues to defect to the DAP and established the first two DAP pro tem divisions in the Barisan Nasional-controlled Kota Tinggi, Johor.
Tai told FMT that he pulled out from MCA because he was disillusioned by the party’s failure to resolve a series of issues plaguing the Chinese community such as the establishment of new Chinese independent high schools and the recognition of Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
Tai came into media limelight when he attended and spoke at the Dong Zong’s rally against the preliminary report of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 last November.
His action drew an immediate rebuke from the Kota Tinggi MCA division, which threatened him with disciplinary because the party had vowed to boycott the rally.
“I feel I could no longer agree with the MCA’s struggles. It will never change,” Tai said.
“MCA claims to represent the six million Chinese in Malaysia, yet it doesn’t fight for what the Chinese want,” he added.
The grassroots leader, who joined MCA in 1989, said the 180 members who followed his path today were from the Kota Tinggi and Taman Tenggara divisions.
He also said his Kota Kecil division was not dissolved and would be led by its deputy chairman although some 100 members have pulled out.
Asked about his decision to join DAP, Tai the party seemed to be the only party that could advocate the Chinese’s rights.
“I am willing to give DAP a chance, to see whether it can do better than MCA,” he said.
Tai said two DAP divisions would be set up at Kota Tinggi and Taman Tenggara, marking the entry of the opposition party into the BN stronghold.
Former minister Syed Hamid Albar is the Kota Tinggi MP while Rasman Ithnain and Asiah Mohd Ariff are the state representatives for Sedili and Johor Lama respectively.
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